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Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176S - 178S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000
EventInternational Conference on Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Nutrition and Disease Prevention - BARCELONA, Spain
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …

King's Authors


Intakes of partially hydrogenated fish oil and animal fats have declined and those of palm, soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed oils have increased in northern Europe in the past 30 y. Soybean and rapeseed oils are currently the most plentiful. liquid vegetable oils and both have desirable ratios of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids. However, soybean and rapeseed oils are commonly partially hydrogenated for use in commercial frying to decrease susceptibility to oxidative degradation. This process leads to selective losses of ol-linolenic acid (18:3n-3). intake of linoleic acid (18:2n-6) has risen in many northern European countries. In the United Kingdom, intakes have increased from approximate to 10 gld in the late 1970s to approximate to 15 gld in the 1990s. The intake of a-linolenic acid is estimated to be approximate to 1-2 g/d but varies with the type of culinary oil used. There are few reliable estimates of the intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, but those are generally approximate to 0.1-0.5 g/d. The increased use of intensive, cereal-based livestock production systems has resulted in a lower proportion of n-3 fatty acids in meat compared with traditional extensive production systems. Overall, there has been a shift in the balance between n-6 and n-3 fatty acids over the past 30 y. This shift is reflected in the declining concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid and rising concentrations of linoleic acid in breast milk.

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